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The Challenges Facing the New Leader of Africa’s Largest Economy are Simply Enormous

A long-term solution to Nigeria’s debt problem is to explore new sources of revenue. To change the current narrative about how risky Nigeria is, the Tinubu administration should introduce policies that improve Nigeria’s economic fundamentals. The country’s external debt stock – what it owes non-residents – was US$41.69 billion in 2022. Multilateral lenders accounted for almost half of this figure. Eurobonds accounted for about 38% of Nigeria’s external debt. Exim Bank of China accounted for US$4.3 billion, or 86% of the $5 billion in bilateral debt. The country’s public debt stock – what the government owes in total – was

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Understanding the Opinions of Africa’s Rising Generation

On the heels of Africa Day and the conclusion of Africa Month (May 2023), the Ichikowitz Foundation’s globally celebrated African Youth Survey reports that nearly half (46%) of the continent’s young people have never heard about the historic, recently-declared African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Just over one-in-five young Africans (22%) indicated that they are very or somewhat familiar with AfCFTA, one-in-five are skeptical about AfCFTA making a difference in their country’s economic situation, while 15% suspect it will in fact make matters worse, the Africa Youth Survey found. The African Youth Survey also reflects strong support among the continent’s

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SA Reserve Bank Concerned about the Rand’s Recent Meltdown and Persistent Price Pressures

The rand sank to a record low on Thursday after the statement by the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) Monetary Policy Committee and subsequent comments by the governor painted a bleak picture for the currency. The currency’s latest slide came after the committee raised its key repo rate by 50 basis points. “Tighter global financial conditions raise the risk profiles of economies needing foreign capital, leading generally to weaker currencies. Given upside inflation risks, larger domestic and external financing needs, and load shedding, further currency weakness appears likely,” the statement said. The rolling blackouts battering the economy are estimated by

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Africa’s Banking Sector Celebrates

Now in its 17th edition, the African Banker Awards celebrate the achievements of individuals and institutions that have contributed significantly to the growth and development of Africa’s banking sector over the past year. Perhaps one of the most coveted prizes of the evening, the African Banker of the Year award, went to Esther Kariuki, head of agriculture business at the Co-op Bank of Kenya. She has been a central figure in advancing agriculture as a key asset class for her institution. Not only a leader and role model, she was also responsible for considerably increasing lending to the agriculture sector

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ICYMI Sam Altman Made a Stop in Lagos

The co-founder and CEO of OpenAI, visited Nigeria last week and met with tech entrepreneurs, government representatives, and students in Lagos. It was the only scheduled Africa stop on a 17-city global listening tour to engage with local users of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s signature product. OpenAI presents itself as being governed by the opposite of the ‘move fast and break things’ ethos that spurred Facebook in years past, by devising policies that constrain how licensees can use its models. There aren’t many examples of African startups creating AI tools on the scale that OpenAI operates. As with other stops elsewhere, OpenAI

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Is African Debt as Perilous as Foreign Lenders Assume?

African governments say no. “The perception of risk continues to be higher than the actual risk,” argued Senegal’s President Macky Sall, speaking as chair of the African Union (au), in a speech to the un last year. He pointed an accusing finger at the credit-rating agencies. So did Ghana’s finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the early months of the covid-19 pandemic, as funds dried up and downgrades loomed. Misheck Mutize, an economist studying the issue for the au, casts doubt on the rating agencies. When they look at Africa, they ignore good news and downgrade at the first sign of

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Accra’s IPPs Threaten Shutdown Over Non-Payment

Ghana’s independent power producers have rejected a government proposal to restructure $1.58 billion in arrears owed them by the state, the head of the group told Reuters on Friday, warning non-payment could lead to a shutdown of their operations. The West African nation aims to cut $10.5 billion in interest payments on its external debt in three years to be able to successfully implement a $3 billion loan deal from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at addressing its worst economic crisis in a generation. Elikplim Kwabla Apetorgbor, head of the Ghana Independent Power Producers (IPP) Chamber, said the restructuring

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DRC To Change the Way it Does Business with China

The Democratic Republic of Congo is looking to strengthen their partnership with China as the two countries are renegotiating mining contracts for the DRC’s mineral reserves. This first State visit to China by the President of the DRC, Félix Tshisekedi, is the latest in a series of diplomatic exchanges between African leaders and Beijing. Mr Tshisekedi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping announced on Friday that they were upgrading “the bilateral relationship from a win-win strategic cooperative partnership to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership”, according to a Chinese foreign ministry statement. China is a major investor in the DRC, where

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Maputo Picks a Partner for its Hydro Plans

Mozambique selected a consortium including TotalEnergies SE and Electricité de France SA as strategic partners in a $4.5 billion hydropower project planned for the center of the southeast African nation. The 1,500-megawatt Mphanda Nkuwa dam and an associated transmission line may play a key role in mitigating a regional electricity shortage. It would be close to the existing Cahora Bassa hydropower dam, which can generate 2,075 MW of power and sell more than half of its output to neighbouring South Africa. The Mozambique government has said it expects financial close on the project in 2024 and completion by 2030, with

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Results of the Kenya Small Firm Diaries study in Nairobi 

The Small Firm Diaries is a global research project being conducted between 2021 to 2023 in seven countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Fiji and Colombia. The study aims to improve the understanding of how small businesses can overcome the barriers they face in order to prosper in the modern economy, and thus contribute to reducing poverty. The study found that although the Kenya sample has the largest group of firms that have been open for 7 years or more compared to other countries in the study, it is in the middle of the pack in terms of monthly revenue,

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13 Ways To Celebrate Africa Day

Every year on May 25th, the world comes together to celebrate Africa Day, a commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity, now known as the African Union, and the diverse cultures, traditions,

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